View Full Version : The Brown/Marbury conflict

03-14-2006, 12:58 AM

Steph vs. Larry: Out of control
Marbury is unhappy playing Brown’s style; coach says step it up


March 14, 2006

The train wreck that is the Knicks jumped off the tracks again yesterday. Stephon Marbury said he's tired of losing while trying to play Larry Brown's way, and the coach responded by saying the star point guard should step up his play if he wants to do something about it.

The latest in a season-long series of personality clashes between Brown and Marbury took place after the morning shootaround at the Knicks' training facility before they faced Denver last night at Madison Square Garden. Marbury reiterated his complaint about his lack of freedom in Brown's controlled offense.

<!-- Ad Space: html.ng/tag=std&site=newsday&color=longisland&edition=newspaper&content=sports&channel=basketball&area=knicks&adtype=cube&adsize=300x250 --> Comparing the Knicks' style to that of the second-year Bobcats in the Knicks' 116-109 loss Saturday in Charlotte, Marbury said. "No, I don't have that type of freedom. For me, it's a problem. I think I can play under the system, but I think also I've got to play the way I know how to play."

If the Knicks (17-45) were winning by playing Brown's way, Marbury said he would be happy and wouldn't question the coach. "But we're not winning," he said, "so I can't condone that."

At first, Brown said he thought Marbury's frustration stems from being the best player on a losing team and feeling a sense of responsibility to improve his own production. But when asked if he and Marbury can work compatibly in the future, Brown said, "Well, we'll see. I'm saying the way I interpret it is: He's going to step up."

When the top player questions the coach, it can interfere with the coach's message to the rest of the players. But Brown, who has preached the value of defense, rebounding, sharing the ball and avoiding turnovers from the first day of training camp, chose to turn Marbury's questions around.

"Maybe he's questioning what he can do. Maybe he's saying he can do more. That's the way I look at it," Brown said. Motioning to a nearby playing court, Brown added, "He's got a forum. He can put us right on his back and take us to the promised land. We've got 21 games."

Taking an aggressive approach, Marbury unleashed a 25-point, seven-assist performance, but the Knicks didn't come close to playing with the same intensity on defense as they lost, 108-96, to the Nuggets.

During the Knicks' six-game winning streak in January, Marbury said he called most of the plays. But he claimed everything changed after he suffered a sprained left shoulder that caused him to miss 11 games during a stretch when the Knicks lost 22 of 24 games.

"When I came back, things weren't the same way," Marbury insisted. Emphatically, he added, "I'm going to go back to playing the way I normally play.

"Coach knew my style of play before got here, so I felt like my game and the way he wanted me to play should be intertwining together. It shouldn't just be one way. We have to come to a compromise."

Brown said his approach hasn't changed all season, and he added, "I've never given a guard more freedom than Stephon Marbury in my life."

But Marbury is too worried about offense and his stats instead of focusing on what wins games, such as defense, rebounding, sharing and avoiding turnovers. The Knicks won consecutive games at Milwaukee and at Indiana "by playing as a team," Brown said, and then lost at Charlotte because they gave up 116 points and couldn't get a stop at the end.

Asked if he's still trying to figure Marbury out, Brown said, "Oh no, I've figured him out. I want him to play like he was playing before he was injured. I'm sure his injury has handicapped him a lot. So now, if he's not talking about his injury and he's talking about stepping up, that's great. I'm all for that."

Marbury said he still can work with Brown, and he refused to even entertain a question about whether a split might be best for both. But Brown said it's common practice for a coach taking over a losing team to make wholesale changes.

"I think you've got to try to make your players better and evaluate who can play for you and who wants to play," Brown said. "You know, who wants to play the way you think you have a chance to win."

03-14-2006, 01:07 AM
Ugghhhh...Steph, can't you just shut up for once?? I remember him saying on 'Quite Frankly' a couple months ago how he was the best point guard in the league, and how the Nets were crazy for trading him for Kidd.He's really proving that point :rolleyes:

03-14-2006, 01:28 AM
Another super talented player that just doesn't get it. Marbary should easily be a top 10-15 player in this league, and if Brown can't get him on that level nobody will.

03-14-2006, 08:06 AM
Methinks its not just Steph that doesn't get it.

The used-car salesman will be taking his act back on the road soon, though.